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RE: Personal reply to Edd Dumbill's XML Hack Article wrt W3C XML Schema

At 07:48 PM 3/12/01 +0100, Matthew Gertner wrote:
>Let me get this straight. I have the following document:
>         <value>45.67</value>
>What you are saying is that someone might want to treat "value" directly 
>as something other than a floating point number?

Can't speak directly for Walter, but yep.  It's totally up to the 
recipient, IMHO.  What's interesting about 45.67?  That it's a floating 
point number?  That it includes two sequential pairs of numbers separated 
by a period, which together form a four-digit sequence?  That 45<67?

Sure, it gets ridiculous.  But unless you have a pre-existing relationship 
with the recipient, or are the recipient yourself, why do you automatically 
expect them to share your reading of what's important?

>I can easily see how this
>element could be transformed into a boolean (e.g. greater than 30) for
>display, or into an integer (e.g. through truncation) for some other
>processing. But surely the original value in the original document is 
>always a real number, right? If not, I'd appreciate a more concrete 
>example. I'm not sure whether I get it.

I think you get it just fine.  The hard part is getting used to the 
contingency involved, rather than trying to obliterate it.  Contingency 
isn't well-loved in computing, but it's a pretty normal aspect of everyday 

Simon St.Laurent - Associate Editor, O'Reilly and Associates
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books